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Thursday, July 11, 2013

SFA quest to spot cream of the crop

New Sabah Times
AT THE FUNCTION … Lawrence, seated second left, hands over the cheque to James while the rest, seated from left, Alijus, Hasbullah and Malianah look on. Standing from left are Junaidi, Roslan and Mustapha.
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Football Association (SFA) hopes to unearth the cream of the crop when they organise the Inter-District Football Championship for the Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman Cup come October, 2013. SFA Deputy President Datuk Lawrence Gimbang said the tournament will involve 26 districts, including Labuan, who will be competing on invitation.

 “We will be using this championship as part of our selection platform to select players for the new season. “We also hope to find talented players with the calibre of our former greats such as James Wong, Hassan Sani and Peter Rajah to name a few,” Lawrence said, after chairing the SFA Local Competition Committee meeting yesterday.

 Lawrence, who also heads the committee, added that the format of the competition is quite similar to that of the Sabah Games and that these teams will play in the preliminary round stage before the finals in the State Capital, which has been tentatively slated for Nov 11 to 17, 2013. Lawrence said that among the rules and regulations of the competition is that each team is allowed to name 24 players, but only 18 to be registered.

 “They are also allowed to name five players aged between 22 and 27 years old while the rest must be between 17 years old and 21 years old. As for the 22 to 27 years old, only two players are allowed to be on the field at any time of the game,” said Lawrence. According to him, the teams have been drawn into eight groups, with only the group winners making it into the finals.

 “These group winners are also allowed to strengthen their teams with players from other teams for the finals. But they can only take a maximum of five players,” he said. The eight groups are Group 1 comprising Tawau, Semporna and Kunak, while Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan and Tongod make up Group 2. Sandakan, Beluran and Ranau make up Group 3, while Kudat, Kota Marudu and Pitas are in Group 4.

 Kota Belud, Tuaran and Penampang are in Group 5, while Kota Kinabalu, Papar and Putatan in Group 6. Group 7 is made up of Sipitang, Beaufort, Kuala Penyu and Labuan while Keningau, Tambunan, Nabawan and Tenom will slog it out in Group 8. SFA Secretary General Alijus Hj Sipil, Women Unit Head Datin Malianah Ugau, Roslan Idris from the Sabah Education Department, SFA Assistant Secretary General Junaidi Ahmad Fauzi, Executive Secretary Hasbullah Yahya, and the SFA’s Independent Delegate Mustapha Tuah were among those present at the meeting.

 At the function, Lawrence also handed a RM3,500 token from the SFA to James Wong for his medical expenses.

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